Hunting is the oldest method of food gathering in human history, and one of the oldest and most revered hobbies in the United States. Recently there’s been a resurgence in the popularity of another classic skill: archery. There’s something special about hunting your own food or game, and taking it down with only a bow an arrow; no bullets or shot. Bow hunting can help you feel more in touch with nature, hunting like our ancestors used to do. It is also a true test of skill and marksmanship. It is no wonder that bow hunting and archery has been on the rise in recent years.
Getting into bow hunting can seem daunting, however. There is so much to learn, new tools, new gear, new techniques, making everything seem like a hurdle. The good news is that if our ancestors could do it, you can do it too. With the wide range of available bows, arrow heads, and shafts at your disposal, you have the tools you need to help you learn and eventually master the art of archery.
So Where Do you Start?
- First, you’ll want to find the right bow for your body, strength, and ability. Consult with a professional at a local archery range or outdoor sporting store for assistance here. Typically you will want to begin with a compound bow. Designed to take the force of the pull off your hands, it allows you to hold your full draw longer, and allows for better aim.
- You will also want to select arrows and arrow heads that are appropriate for your purpose. If you choose a compound bow you’ll most likely be considering between carbon and aluminum arrows. Carbon is lighter, while aluminum is sturdier. Talk to a professional about what may be right for you.
I’ve Got my Bow and Arrows. Now What?
- This is where the work starts. Practice, practice, practice! Find a local archery range, or start practicing on your property. Make sure to familiarize yourself with proper technique for the draw and release, and always make sure you are operating safely for both yourself and those around you.
- Consider entering archery tournaments, or finding friends who share the same passion. Competition can spice up the practice, and also provide valuable feedback on what you’re doing right and what you can improve upon.
- Speak to a professional trainer or experienced bow hunter for tips on hunting and target shooting with a bow. Bow hunting is quieter, and requires more focus than a gun. Don’t be afraid to reach out and seek help, even if you are an experienced gun hunter.
What are the Advantages of Bows?
- You will be hunting the way our ancestors did, with skills and abilities that are rarely used today. It’s definitely a unique ability to be a true bow hunter.
- It helps you focus your mind and body, and helps you to become a better overall hunter and tracker. You will have to work harder for your take downs, but they will be worth that much more in the end.
- Bow season is often longer than gun season, and you will have more opportunities to hunt!
If you decide that bow hunting is the way you want to go, know that you’re getting into a sport that takes practice, dedication and hard work. It’s one of the most rewarding skills you can ever develop, and is highly respected because of it. Happy Hunting!